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in the senate for us. how does austerity look for ordinary italians? >> the big weakness of this budget is it puts off some many of the cuts and tax increases until 2013, 2014. that is not coincidental. there is a general election in june 2013. all of this will have to be done by the next government. in the meantime, there is going to be a gaming tax, increased health charges, cuts in pensions, but only for the highest pensions -- and in italy, pensions are pretty generous. this is not a budget which in the short-term is going to lead anybody into destitution. >> in other news, syrian pro- democracy activists say government forces have killed at least nine people as protests against the president continue. reports indicate the military crackdown on opposition activists in damascus and hana. police have arrested members of opposition supporters. non-governmental organizations say at least 1600 people have been killed since the uprising began four months ago. 13 turkish soldiers have been killed in an attack in the southeast of the country. officials say kurdish militants ambushed troops.
the political spectrum how the big sector pensions need to be reformed. we need to do that in a reasonable way. >> the strike was the largest in britain for many years. unions said the action might be followed by larger protests later this year when a major public spending sector cuts are expected to begin to bite. >> human-rights activists and syria say security forces have killed at least 19 people in the north of thee country in the past 40 hours. the regime of president assad has move forces to stop refugees from fleeing into turkey. protests against the government continue across the country. hundreds of protesters took to the streets of all. for the first time. in a border town, sir joseph -- soldiers used tear gas. more than 30 people have died as a result of the crackdown on pro-democracy demonstrators. -- more than 130 people have died as a result of the crackdown. jibral said he respected the german abstention in the u.n. vote but action is needed as the war against muammar gaddafi drags on. >> thursday was the third time that the german foreign ministry has meet with the leader of t
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